Longtime Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will run a write-in campaign to retain his House seat after failing to collect enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

McCotter took the blame for the unforced error, saying "the buck stops here with me" in a mea culpa printed in the Detroit News, before promising to run as a write-in candidate.


The five-term Republican has spent little time and effort on his reelection so far — most of his political efforts were focused on a brief bid for the GOP presidential nomination last year, and he has less than $200,000 in the bank for the upcoming write-in campaign, a tough race for any candidate.

He'll now have to work hard to stave off a Tea Party challenger who stood little chance before McCotter's ballot blunder — and if he fails to win in the primary, Democrats could have a shot at winning the district, which gave President Obama 48 percent of its vote last election.